CASSIDIAN delivers first ASSTA 3.0 Tornados to German Air Force
•Tornado combat aircraft fleet to remain serviceable until beyond 2025
•New operational capabilities after ASSTA 3.0 upgrade
At the end of June, Cassidian delivered the first two Tornado aircraft upgraded to the new ASSTA 3.0 (Avionics System Software Tornado Ada) capability standard, to the German Air Force. After several months of retrofitting, certification and acceptance by Cassidian and by Bundeswehr Technical Centre 61 in Manching, the aircraft are now being returned to Fighter Bomber Wing 33 in Büchel. “Today marks a great leap forward in the development of the Tornado weapon system,” said Erik Jensen, Head of Cassidian’s Air Services business line, at a handover ceremony attended by representatives of industry and the German Air Force. “With ASSTA 3.0, the German Tornado fleet is being adapted to meet the Armed Forces’s current requirement for all-weather, high-precision and network-centric capabilities.” All 85 Tornados in service with the future German Air Force fleet are scheduled to be upgraded to this standard by 2018. Besides the integration of the network-centric data communication system MIDS (Multifunctional Information Distribution System / Link 16), the ASSTA 3.0 standard includes a state-of-the-art radio device, a digital video and data recorder (DVDR), and the integrated Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM) which can be guided to its target by means of satellite navigation or by laser. While activities for ASSTA 3.0 are ongoing, the development of ASSTA 3.1 has already begun. This involves replacing the monochrome CRT monitors in the rear cockpit with colour displays and greatly expanding the functionality of the MIDS. On behalf of Panavia GmbH, Cassidian is responsible for the project management, development, manufacture and installation of the combat efficiency improvements for the German Tornados in close cooperation with Alenia Aermacchi in Italy and BAE Systems in the UK. As an industrial partner in the trinational Tornado programme, Cassidian was in charge of developing and manufacturing all of the Tornado’s centre fuselage sections, and was also responsible for the avionics, the communication system , the flight control system and the aircraft’s entire computer system.
Source and photo: EADS